PLUS: History Store Programs

Right Turns: The Missing Chapters

In Michael’s bestselling 2004 book RIGHT TURNS he tells the funny, touching and ultimately inspiring story of his own transition from “punk liberal activist” to “lovable conservative curmudgeon” by focusing on 35 unconventional lessons from his controversial life.

But most readers of that book don’t know that the original draft of RIGHT TURNS included 40 lessons, not 35. The publisher (Random House/Crown Forum) thought the manuscript needed substantial cuts, so important chapters remained unpublished. Those “Missing Chapters” are presented here, and feature Michael learning, at age 16, “That Salesmanship is the Essence of All Success” and describing his brief but wildly successful career as a top-producing encyclopedia salesman. There’s also a chapter about the importance of publicity — detailing Michael’s notorious (and ultimately nationally celebrated) effort to eliminate his high school’s hapless, losing football team by turning the football field into a rice paddy. One missing chapter also follows our six-year old hero across the country, as he journeys with his parents to a new life in California and for the first time experiences “the wild west.”

Surprising and insightful, and sometimes deeply embarrassing, THE MISSING CHAPTERS will entertain and enlighten all those who enjoyed RIGHT TURNS and will also fascinate those who know nothing else about that book.

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